• A new study has found that typical treatments for lower back pain may not be effective.

  • The medications are the muscle relaxers acetaminophen as well as.

  • Experts recommend a range of different treatments to help alleviate the pain.

Back pain is among the main causes of disability across the globe According to World Health Organization (WHO) However, the treatment for it can be a challenge. In the end, the treatment that works well for one individual might not work for the other.

There are still some mainstays of back treatment for pain, such as the use of muscle relaxers, acetaminophen and in more serious instances the use of opioids. New research suggests the methods used to treat back discomfort may not be the most effective.

The meta-analysis was presented in BMJ included the results of 98 random controlled studies of more than 15,000 people sufferers of back pain , who were treated with various medicines or combinations of drugs. The drugs included non-steroidal anti-inflammatory agents (NSAIDs) Acetaminophen (acetaminophen) muscles relaxants, corticosteroids among others.

Researchers measured low back pain intensity after the treatment (it ranged from 65 to 100 at the beginning) and also the effectiveness of the drugs. The study concluded that study, the researchers discovered that there was either no or even no evidence that showed that a number of the common treatments for low back discomfort actually work as compared to placebo. The medications studied include the muscle relaxer tolperisone anti-inflammatory medication aceclofenac, along with the muscle relaxant tizanidine, the anti-convulsant drug pregabalin relaxant thiocolchicoside, as well as the ketoprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug. Drugs such as ibuprofen and acetaminophen reduced pain by a moderate amount.

Researchers also pointed out that certain of these drugs may cause side effects, such as nausea and vomiting, drowsiness headache, dizziness and nausea.

“Our study of analgesic medications to treat acute low back pain revealed a lot of inconsistency regarding effects on the intensity of pain and the safety of these medicines,” researchers concluded. This is why they advise that healthcare providers and patients “take an empathetic approach towards the usage of these medications.”

Given the widespread nature of lower back discomfort is normal to be concerned. Experts provide the findings of the study and suggest alternative treatment options for pain.

Why could common drugs not be effective against low back discomfort?

It’s vital to mention that this isn’t the only time that research has revealed that some of these medications did not work or weren’t effective in treating lower back discomfort.

A meta-analysis within the BMJin 2021 examined the results of 31 random controlled studies involving over 6,500 patients and concluded that the use of muscle relaxants was not effective to treat back pain. Researchers specifically found that while the use of muscle relaxants could help alleviate pain for a short time but they only have a slight effect on pain , and has a higher chance of adverse consequences.

The American College of Physicians (ACP) also noted in their guidelines for clinical practice published within the Annals of Internal Medicine that research has proven that Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is not efficient for cutting down back pain as compared to placebo, and that there’s “low-quality proof” that corticosteroids are effective in treating back pain.

Jamie Alan, Ph.D. is an associate professor of toxicology and pharmacology of Michigan State University, says she’s “not too shocked” by the most recent research results. “We are not aware of the nature about pain” the professor says. “Counseling is essential in recommending these medications as is the follow-up, both of which could be improved.”

It’s important to know that back pain is typically divided into two categories: acute that is a short period of pain as well as chronic, which refers to persistent pain, according to Neel Anand M.D., an orthopedic surgeon and director of spine trauma at Cedars-Sinai Spine Center in Los Angeles. “Most sufferers have persistent back discomfort,” he says. In those instances, “medications don’t treat the issue. They provide symptomatic relief however, it’s not treating the root cause,” Dr. Anand states.

What should you do if you suffer from back pain that is low back pain

The ACP provides these as possible first-line options if you are struggling with lower back discomfort:

  • Yoga
  • Heating (like the use of the heating pad)
  • Exercise
  • Acupuncture
  • Massage therapy
  • Low-level laser therapy
  • Cognitive therapy for behavioral problems
  • Spinal manipulation

The ACP suggests trying these methods first before attempting medications if the treatment strategies aren’t working. Physical therapy, in which the practitioner is able to assist by spinal manipulatives, biofeedback and stretching, could be beneficial, Alan says. Justin J. Park, M.D., an orthopedic board-certified spine surgeon from The Maryland Spine Center at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore Also, he recommends physical therapy to treat back discomfort. “It helps strengthen the muscles in the core which help support the spine as well as back muscle extensors,” he says.

Wearing supportive shoes in the home or on the go, it can be beneficial Dr. Park says.

If you’re suffering from an acute bout of back pain, as if you injured a muscle, taking medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs and muscle relaxants could assist in the short term, doctor. Anand says. “But If you suffer from persistent back pain, you must to figure out what’s behind your discomfort so that you can manage it more effectively,” he says.

Important to note: The ACP specifically states that the majority of back pain improves with time, no matter what treatment you take or even recommends to medical professionals to inform the patients that.

When should you visit an orthopedic surgeon for low back pain

Although you may try a few remedies at your home, it’s always a good idea to see a doctor in certain circumstances, Alan says. For instance, if you’re suffering from an ongoing pain or becoming worse after 7-10 days, she adds–and also doctors. Anand says you’ll definitely need to consult an back doctor if you’ve experienced discomfort for more than four weeks.

However, if you experience changes in your bladder or the bowel, or you experience the sensation of weakness or numbness in your legs, “contact your doctor immediately,” Alan says.

Korin Miller works as a writer for freelance, specializing in general health, sexual wellness and relationships, as well as fashion trends. Her work has been being published on Men’s Health, Women’s Health, Self, Glamour, and many more. She holds a master’s in health and fitness from American University, lives by the ocean and plans to own an ice cream teacup and taco truck in the near future.